Volume 1, Number 1 (2010)
The Revolutionary (Re-)valorization of 'Peasant' Production and Implications for Small-Scale Farming in Present-Day Cuba
'History is a lie. The one who writes it is always the one who wins the war.' Cuban in his early '80s
As suggested by the elderly man quoted above, and as R. G. Collingwood (1946) argued, history cannot be analyzed apart from the historians who write it. In the histories of Fidel Castro's revolution, campesinos ('peasants') have largely been regarded as exploitative and technologically backward. It is useful to consider these assumptions about production and exchange in the small farming sector, especially as they relate to changes that have occurred in the Cuban agrarian economy affecting the apportionment and use of land and labor. By understanding contrasting interpretations of the Cuban agrarian economy during the crucial period between the 1950s and the 1960s, one may begin to understand current challenges affecting small-scale producers in Cuba.